The Thanksgiving holiday ends when the soup is done. That’s the way I look at it anyway. Saturday afternoon, after guests had had their fill of all things turkey I removed the meat from the bones and made stock in a very large pot. I strained the broth and put the pan in the shed to cool overnight. The temperature hadn’t been above 25 degrees so it’s as good as any refrigerator.
Sunday morning I skimmed the fat and heated the stock. This is where we come to the rest of the ingredients. Everything that was leftover from Thanksgiving went into the pot. Mashed potatoes, squash, rutabaga, gravy, it all went in. Using this as the base for your turkey soup gives it the most wonderful flavor and thickens it to the perfect consistency. Last but not least comes the leftover bird – and this was one wonderful bird from Diemand Turkey Farm in Wendell, MA. I didn’t add any starch because I wanted to keep my options open since it was such a huge amount.
The soup was simmered for about an hour and then the canner came out. I had to can two rounds because the canner will only do 14 pints at a time. All in all I canned 24 pints. I do pints because many times it’s just one person (or two) opening a jar. If there are more people open more jars. It’s so satisfying to see the fruits of your labor sitting on the counter cooling. Then dream about the soup’s possibilities – turkey barley, turkey rice and I’m thinking dumplings would be a great winter meal.
The biggest treat is tasting this when Thanksgiving Day is a distant memory because this is really Thanksgiving Dinner in a jar – yum!